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To proceed with a premises liability claim, the plaintiff must, at a minimum, be able to prove the following:
That the defendant controlled the property where the injury occurred;
i.e., the defendant leased, owned or occupied the property (“[a] defendant need not own, possess and control property in order to be held liable; control alone is sufficient.” (Alcaraz v. Vece (1997) 14 Cal.4th 1149, 1162)
That the defendant negligently maintained or used the property;
That the plaintiff was injured; and
That the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
PREMISES LIABILITY LAWYER
“The liability of landowners for injuries to people on their property has been governed by general negligence principles,” (Pineda v. Ennabe (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 1403, 1407) but proving the defendant’s negligence is the most difficult aspect of any premises liability claim. While determining who controls the property and whether the plaintiff is injured are relatively easy ventures, establishing the defendant’s negligence is where things (may) get tricky.
A person who controls (i.e., owns, leases or occupies) the property in question owes a duty to use reasonable care in keeping the property in a reasonably safe condition. Understand, maintenance of the property alone does not establish control. (Alcaraz, supra, 14 Cal.4th at p. 1170) This duty requires the individual to use reasonable care in discovering any unsafe conditions and then to repair or replace the condition. If repairing or replacing the unsafe condition is not done, the individual must provide the property with adequate warnings of any condition that could reasonably be expected to harm others. An individual who fails to perform these duties will likely be found negligent.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall due to someone’s negligence contact the premises liability lawyers at The Steven Dhillon Law Firm at (818) 874-9485. Call today for a free initial consultation of your case.
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